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CamStudio for 'screen recording' during testing

edited November 2010 in General Discussion
Hey all,
I'm poking around at different open source screen recorder for the
intent of 'automated recording during manual test cases'.

Automated screen recording during manual test cases:

*Be used for any UI, primary audience will be Windows. Web based
(both traditional and ajax) and thick client (java, .net, etc).

*Be called via command line or api (my particular use case is Java,
but other options could be evaluated) from an external 'Test
Management' tool to start recording session and stop recording session
without mandating UI interaction. Note that the open source licensing
would be encouraged on both the Test Management side and the Screen
Recorder side. Test Management tools being evaluated include XStudio
(GPL launchers, but the core is not open source) and Salome-TMF (would
be applet driven interaction, less desirable).

--an off-focus UI would be fine for higher level controls, but
shouldn't require interaction just to start/stop the recording

--note that there may be many recording sessions one after the other,
so if there are optimizations for startup/shutdown such as a
background process/service that is always running that is interacted
with from command line/api, this would assist in reducing delays
swapping between test cases.

*Be able to record 'active/focused' applications for recording only.
For example, if a user has dual-monitor setup be able to start the
recording and do the entire screen recording session based on 'active/
focused' applications/windows, even if those applications/windows
change (example: use a different app to confirm the results of the
first app). If this can be done but not allow changing, that may be
sufficient (along as modal/popup is understood).
--intent is to avoid recording the full dual-screen desktop and instead only focus on what is getting tested (and verifications/etc).

*Ideal scenario would be the artifact (video, screenshot, etc files)
be able to be fed into an external tool via command line or api.

*Ideal scenario would be a screen recorder that optionally captures screenshot
images instead of the full video based on change events that would be
reasonable in testing applications, such as 'enter', 'click/off-
click', and potentially 'tab'. However, this is not mandatory.

*Ideal scenario would be a screen recorder that 'highlights' user
modified/entered values done through input to differentiate between
app data/information and user interaction.

*Audio is not required, and if there is an option to disable that would be fine.

Let me know your thoughts!


  • mlt
    edited November 2010
    You can try to automate start/stop of the capturing by using window messages. See Recorder/RecorderView.cpp around line 365. For some reason RegisterWindowMessage() (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms644947%28VS.85%29.aspx) is used there. I guess you can send those messages to a running instance of CS with previously set up options.

    Unfortunately there is no way to track active window as of now :-( As well as highlight recent UI changes made by user.

    You may also check http://www.medialooks.com/products/directshow_filters/screen_capture.html or http://www.splitmedialabs.com/vh-video-sdk/vh-screen-capture and tweak let's say sample application that comes with Windows Platform SDK named AmCap.

    I thought to use either of them in pilot version of DirectShow version of CS, but it all is in the far far future.

    Hope this helps.
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